Posted on September 8, 2021
Picture a Pinocchio emoji following the above question, and this is what I received earlier today from an actual friend on a Facebook update I’ve been posting for the past 18 months on the Covid-19 pandemic. It made me smile but knowing my friend, he also wanted me to think because he sought a serious answer.
It’s a question we’ve often heard since plans for vaccination-based “living with Covid” were first floated in Australia. And now that the time for this policy is fast approaching, it’s one I’ve not yet seen answered with any erudition in the media nor by any government and you’ll see below, there’s good reason. Still, here I’ve tried.
What follows then is my verbatim reply to him with no glowing prose and I thank him for the trust shown inviting my contribution. I hope it’s one that helps add concrete to a debate that so far exemplifies our early 21st Century—riddled with crises offering very few clear answers other than what common sense demands.
Let’ start with some facts:
If 80% of Australians aged 16+ were double vaccinated that would mean approximately just 65% of the whole of Australia will be covered.
These 65% will then need to herd around the vulnerable 35% (infants and children—and likely many others considering those who don’t want to get vaxxed or can’t).
These 65% will also need to be so thoroughly immune that Covid-19 can’t penetrate their shields meaning they can’t spread it. So, Covid dies.
That’s called “herd immunity”.
What do I think will happen at “80% double-vaxxed” with only 2 First Gen vaxxes in peoples’ arms giving an immunity of between 50-80%, and with 35% of the country at large?
No one knows.
Because outside Malta and Gibraltar—and soon Singapore and the Cayman Islands—no one in the world has done it yet.
The UK is 65% double-vaxxed, France is 62%, Israel is 61%, and the US is 54%. All have reopened in some way and all are rushing 3rd dose boosters to their populations. Because guess what? Covid hasn’t died. Just them.
But Australia with its closed borders has always proven different in this pandemic.
It’s just that, at “80%” Qantas wants it opened up. And for some reason, they run federal policy along with business lobbies that want overseas students retuned too—not just for their fees. They’re very cheap labour. They pick apples as well.
My simple answer is this. We’re in for a disaster without boosters supplied in early 2022. Good news is, “preparation for boosters” is mentioned in columns A (now) and B (at “~70%”) of the National Plan. Boosters “boost” vaccine efficacy.
That changes the game from a roulette wheel to a decent bet.
What I didn’t say was that I also believe, that before this is all over, Australia will be one of the few nations in the world vaccinated as close to 100% of its population against Covid-19 as can be.
You can’t take the Aussie out of being Australian once the political dust gets swept aside.
And Aussies know how to separate the bull dust from the fair dinkum expertly.
© 2021 Adam Parker.